"Preparing Educators for Diverse Cultural Contexts 

EDCI 5631

Characteristics of the Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG)

Fall 2007
Evalee Parker
Induction Coordinator

North Carolina Central University

Department of Curriculum & Instruction; Professional Studies 

Location: Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center 

Textbooks: Essential Readings in Gifted Education:

Sternberg, Robert. Definitions and Conceptions of Giftedness           

Renzulli, Joseph. Identification of Students for Gifted and Talented Programs  

Baum, Susan. Twice-Exceptional and Special Populations of Gifted Students


Course Description

This course is designed to provide a rationale for gifted education, explore the historical foundations of gifted education, examine the varying definitions of giftedness, examine brain research and its implications on the learning process, explore the characteristics and needs of the gifted, examine screening and identification procedures, examine service delivery options for gifted students, understand appropriate management of the learning environment for gifted education and to gain a clear understanding of federal, state, and local laws and guidelines for gifted education.

This course is designed to familiarize candidates with the educational theories, practices and issues related to gifted education.  It is also designed to be experiential through school observations and practica.  Observations will take place within teacher’s own classrooms.

Candidates will make connections between what they do and what is occurring in the "out-of-school" society and in other classrooms. This course is an assessment of teaching gifted students as a career through professional observations, discussions of school systems, teachers' roles in augmenting curricula, and an understanding of policy, procedures, and standards of gifted education.  

Student (Candidate) Learning Outcomes:

This course is aligned with the standards of NCDPI and the National Association of Gifted Education. Candidates will be able to:


This course will be instructed using the Layered Curriculum® approach. Students will complete the required number of activities in the “C” layer (in order) before moving to the “B” layer. “B” layer requirements should be met before moving to the “A” layer.  Assignments should be posted by the due date. Students will read everyone’s posted assignments and choose two weekly to respond to.

Candidates will be required to keep all assignments in a 2-inch binder that will become a cumulative portfolio for the AIG licensure program.  

Learning Objectives:

“C” Layer: 

    Learning Outcomes Teaching Strategies Evidence of Mastery
    1. History of Gifted Education -
              Choose 1 

    Due August 25

    1. Research the history of gifted education. Construct a timeline highlighting important events.
    2. Research the history of gifted education. Write a summary detailing how it has changed through the years.
    3. Research the history of gifted education. Make a chart of the people that have influenced gifted education and their contributions.
    Completed timeline or summary 

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.

    2. Definitions of Giftedness –

    Choose 1 

    Due August 31

    1. Find three definitions of giftedness. Show how they are alike and how they are different.
    2. Interview three people in public education and three people outside of public education to find out what others think “gifted” means.
    Comparison chart 

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.

    3. Characteristics of the gifted –  

    Choose 1 

    Due Sept. 6

    1. What is your definition of giftedness? List characteristics of your definition. Compare this with research on characteristics of the gifted.
    2. Make a list of famous people you think are gifted and why you think they are gifted.
    3. Choose a film or book about a gifted person. Analyze this character – how is this character portrayed? Are any myths or stereotypes perpetuated?
    List of characteristics of giftedness or famous people – or analysis of film character 

    Response to 2 posted assignments

    4. Identification of the Gifted  

    Do both 1 & 2 

    Due Sept. 14

    1. Find and summarize an article about diverse gifted populations and how instruction could be enhanced for these groups. (ie. ESL, Hispanic, African-American, female). What are some of the barriers in working with any of these groups?
    2. What is a “twice exceptionality”? Research and report on one twice exceptionality. Include how you would identify, and meet the needs of a student with this twice exceptionality.
    Report on identification choice 

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.

    5. Guidelines/

    Laws of Gifted Education Programs – 

    Choose 1 

    Due Sept. 21

    1. Read and summarize the Guidelines for Governing Local Plans for Gifted Education (NCDPI)
    2. Read Federal, State, and Local laws about gifted education. Chart a summary of the guidelines.
    3. Research professional organizations of gifted education. Choose three to summarize, compare and contrast.

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.


“B” Layer

    Learning Outcomes Teaching Strategies Evidence of Mastery
    Choose 1 of the following activities 

    Due Oct. 5

    1. Explain the process of identification. What criteria are involved? What are some problems that could occur in this process?  Explain assessment procedures.
    2. Choose a student in your classroom to “identify” for gifted education. Go through and document the process step by step. Create a plan for meeting this student’s needs based on the assessment. Make recommendations for modifying instruction.

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.


“A” Layer 

    Learning Outcomes Teaching Strategies Evidence of Mastery

    Due Oct. 19

    1. Go to http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/curriculum.htm and choose 3 articles to read and review. Write a meta-reflection on what you learned from these articles.
    Meta reflection 

    Post in the discussion board and respond to two classmates’ postings.


Readings/Reflections: Read the chapters assigned for each book. For each chapter, write a reflection about what stood out or what was significant to you. Reflection should be at least one page, typed, and posted in the discussion board.


Attendance and Tardiness

Attendance is a good indicator of your seriousness and commitment. You will be expected to attend the face-to-face sessions. You will also be expected to check BlackBoard daily for assignments and updates. Late assignments will result in a loss of points. 



Grades are based on points assigned to each completed course requirement.

      Grading Components Points
      Layer C 50
      Layer B 10
      Layer A 10
      Field Experience 10
      Readings/Reflections 15
      Attendance/Participation 5
      TOTAL 100

                 A - 91-100 points                                   B – 81-90 points                    

                 C – 71-80 points                                   Below 70 –F no credit 

Field Experience Guidelines

To adhere to the field experience requirements of EDEC 5631, you will

Field Experience logs/reflections are due October 30. 


The following questions will assist you in getting started:

    1. How does the teacher ensure that the academic/developmental needs of his/her students are being met?
    2. What person(s) is responsible for ensuring that teachers know how to meet the academic/developmental needs of his/her students?
    3. Does the teacher know who the AIG identified students are?
    4. Are the AIG students taught in an inclusive setting? If so, are their needs being met?
    5. How does the teacher differentiate for AIG students?

Observing One Student

Careful observation will include the student’s conversations, an awareness of the student’s movement within the area and his/her relations with others. It is often useful to time the observations in ten-minute periods.

  1. What activities did the student choose?
  2. Did the student choose easily or need guidance?
  3. Was the student dependent on adults or another student to initiate activities?
  4. Did the student show imagination?
  5. How long did the student concentrate on each activity?
  6. Was the student sociable and confident in making contact with students and adults?
  7. Did the student carry out any special request made?
  8. Did the student talk about activities to other students or adults?
  9. Was the student’s vocabulary expressive?
  10. Was the student curious about other student’s activities? Did the student participate or observe?
  11. Did the student share or participate in a group (with one other student or several other students)?
  12. Did the student, at any other time, show interest in:
    • Reading – picture/story book, homemade books, etc.
    • Writing – creative, personal, writing practice
    • Listening to recorded story or story session
    • Math- number relationships, sorting, classification, notation, quantity, size, shape, volume, length, capacity, weight, time, etc.
    • Art- in many forms- painting, clay, constructions, collage, stitchery, etc.
    • Music- listening to or making music
    • Drama- incidental home center – organized – role play
    • Science – physical and natural science

For each observation, document all observable behaviors of that one student. Write findings in a narrative form. Minimum of 5 ten minute observation periods. 

Matthews, Dona J. & Joanne F. Foster. Being Smart About Gifted Children: A Guidebook For Parents And Educators. Great Potential Press, Scotsdale, AZ. 2005 

Neihart , Maureen.  The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? Prufrock Press, Waco, TX. 2002 

Nunley, Kathie F. Layered Curriculum. Morris Publishing, Kearney, NE. 2001 

Tomlinson, Carol Ann. The Differentiated Classroom. ASCD, Alexandria, Va. 1999 

Tomlinson, Carol Ann, Sandra N. Kaplan, Joseph S. Renzulli, Jeanne H. Purcell, Jann H. Leppien, Deborah E. Burns  The Parallel Curriculum. Corwin Press, 2002.  

Van Tassel-Baska, Joyce. Comprehensive Curriculum For Gifted Learners.  

Wiggins, Grant & Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Pearson, Merril/Prentice Hall 2005 

Winebrenner, Susan &  Pamela Espeland. Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented Free Spirit Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. 2001 


“C” Layer: 

_____ History of Gifted Education                  _____ Response to two postings 

_____ Definitions of Giftedness        _____ Response to two postings


_____ Characteristics of the gifted                 _____ Response to two postings 

_____ Identification of the Gifted 1   _____ Response to two postings 

_____ Identification of the Gifted 2         _____ Response to two postings 

_____ Guidelines/Laws of Gifted

      Education Programs     _____ Response to two postings 

“B” Layer:  

_____ Choice                  _____ Response to two postings 

“A” Layer: 

_____ Metareflection on articles    _____ Response to two postings 

Field Experience:  

_____ Observation/Narrative 

_____ Interview 2 teachers 

_____ Interview student